January 2015 marks the 30th year of Sundance Film Festival. Sundance is an annual film competition in Utah that is open to both American and international filmmakers. It is one of the largest independent film festivals in the United States.
“Sundance Institute is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the discovery and development of independent artists and audiences. Through its programs, the Institute seeks to discover, support, and inspire independent film and theatre artists from the United States and around the world, and to introduce audiences to their new work.”
– Sundance Institute
At first, submissions came from primarily low budget filmmakers. Later on, high budget, Hollywood producers began submitting entries. This led to an upswing in popularity for the Sundance film festival. In 1985, its first year, Sundance screened 86 films. Now 30 years later, the festivals is screening 186 films with 12,218 submissions.
The festival is opened to any filmmaker, amateur or professional, and in a number of different categories. It’s easy to enter the competition. Read the Sundance rules and dates, pick a category, write a script, produce a film, and enter your work online. You can attend the Sundance Film Festival (with or without entering a piece yourself). It occurs in late January every year in Utah and lasts about two weeks. There are several obtainable ticket packages and other activities (such as conferences, speakers, and ceremonies) that occur along with the film screenings.
I often love to review previous Sundance winners. The films definitely give me insight into the criteria the judges look at. I, also, enjoy watching the filmmaker interviews. I’m enticed by the behind-the-scenes insight that they give. I plan to enter and attend the festival after I graduate from college and I can’t wait to see what I will do and what I will experience.
— Robert Redford, President and Founder